By November 9, 2016,
The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.President Obama has 73 days left in office and during this time he has a responsibility to act on this finding.
It may be pointless and arguably counterproductive to start formulating and enacting a strategic response to Russia’s interference in the election — especially given the likelihood that this plan would be set aside by the incoming Trump administration and given the cozy relationship that Trump and Putin are already developing.
Obama’s primary responsibility is to go to the greatest lengths possible in informing the public about what the intelligence services already know and what further information can be established and revealed in the coming weeks.
What is called for is substance to add to the assertion of confidence that has already been made.
In the absence of clear evidence, the assertions about Russia have thus far been tainted by the appearance of being politically partisan — all the more reason why Trump will easily be able to sweep away the issue. Even before the election, he had already dismissed the intelligence finding.
There is a glaring irony in this situation.
On the one hand the FBI just directly intervened in a presidential election — an intervention that was strongly criticized from many quarters and that arguably tipped the result in Trump’s favor. On the other hand, if Obama adopts the traditional caretaker role of an outgoing president, he will likely end up effectively burying evidence that the Russian government not only interfered but helped determine the outcome of a U.S. election.
As much as there might now be a common desire to heal the divisions in America, the public has a right to know and fully understand what just happened.